Palais des Festivals et des Congres, Cannes, 07/01/2017
The DS Automobiles Team Mathershaw squad today unveiled their contender for the 2017 Formula Virtual World Championship in a lavish ceremony in Cannes, televised in France by TF1 and in the UK by Sky Sports. The world champion team showed off the RJM-005 to assembled media and fans, with in excess of two thousand people attending the launch presented by Arthur Lapierre. While the launch was occurring, technical director Robert Mathershaw and test and reserve driver Thierry Xylander remained at Paul Ricard along with the remainder of the trackside team to shakedown the car in a session streamed live both on television and to the crowd in Cannes.
Speaking to the capacity crowd, team principal Arthur Lapierre was visibly excited by the occasion:
“We’re exceptionally pleased to present to you all today with our newest challenger. The 2016 season was truly incredible, with us bringing home both titles in what was our finest season ever. But, as much as we are proud of our history, we must look to the future and make sure it is filled with further success. Adrien, Allar, if you could do the honours! Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the DS Mathershaw RJM-005!"
After the launch of the car, a short interview was held while the shakedown was prepared:
Patrick Sabatier, TF1 Formula Virtual presenter: After such a successful season last year, do you think you can win again in 2017?
Lapierre: We have to be realistic. We know this is a very good car, because it’s fundamentally based on the 2016 challenger. However, the opposition haven’t stood still. Developing the 2016 car meant we couldn’t start on 2017 quite as early as we’d have liked, but we firmly believe that we will be in the hunt for race wins.
Sabatier: You say you started later than you wanted on the 2017 car. How big an impact is that likely to have?
Lapierre: We don’t know for sure yet. Testing is when we find out where we stand, but if we speak honestly, we don’t think we will be fastest going to Australia.
Sabatier: Adrien, as defending world champion, how do you rate your chances? Surely you can’t be happy hearing your boss being so pessimistic?
Simon: We carry the number one on the car next year, and there’s a reason for that. Even if we don’t win the title, we will be right up there fighting for it. I know this team extremely well, and I know the plans we have for now and the future.
Dave Jones, Sky Sports FV reporter: Allar, as the defending VWRS champion, you have a lot of attention around you. What are your aims this year?
Kangur: Beat Adrien. [laughs] In all seriousness, I’ve got the world champion as my team mate. You don’t get a better comparison than that. I want to learn everything I can from him.
Jones: Adrien, are you happy to take on the role of mentor?
Simon: Absolutely. Then if he gets too close, I’ll just give him some bad advice!
Patrick Sabatier: Ok guys, it's time for what we've all been waiting for - we can now pass you over to Robert at Paul Ricard for the first running of the RJM-005 in the hands of Thierry Xylander!